Stuffed Peppers

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Stuffed Peppers are a fancy way to serve peppers! They are so easy, delicious and impressive enough to serve for special occasions or special guests! 

While I often serve peppers in a stir fry or in a fresh Greek salad, I do love using the pepper itself as a serving vessel!  We’ve filled these with a delicious beef, sausage and rice filling perfect for a quick and complete meal in one tidy package!

Baked Stuffed Peppers in a clear baking dish

Stuffed Bell Peppers are easy to make and everyone loves them!  We fill these with a mixture of beef and sausage but you can use one or the other (or even ground turkey if you prefer) and I sometimes replace the rice with Cauliflower Rice. While I used green peppers in this recipe, any color bell pepper (red/yellow/orange) will work just fine.

When choosing the color of pepper for your Stuffed Peppers recipe, it will depend on your personal taste preference. Green peppers are a bit more zesty and definitely less sweet than red, yellow or orange. Green peppers in this recipe really compliment the flavors in the beef, sausage, tomato-rice mixture.

Assembled ingredients for Stuffed Peppers in a skillet

How to make Stuffed Peppers

My friends often ask me how to make stuffed bell peppers and my response is always the same – it’s so easy! While these may look difficult, if you follow these easy steps, you will have perfect stuffed peppers every time!

  • Brown meat and aromatics. Add tomato sauce, rice and seasonings and cook until rice is tender.
  • While the filling is cooking, prepare your peppers by simmering 5 minutes to soften.
  • Fill peppers with pasta sauce, meat and rice mixture.
  • Top with cheese and bake until bubbly!

I usually cut my peppers across the top but you can also cut them top to bottom to make smaller portions (like in my Mexican Stuffed Peppers).

Do You Have to Pre-cook the Peppers Before Stuffing Them?  No you don’t have to precook the peppers, but they do stay quite crisp if you don’t pre-cook them. I personally prefer starting with cooked peppers for this Stuffed Peppers recipe.  

Stuffed Peppers prepped in a baking dish and ready to bake

How Long to Cook Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers should be cooked at about 350°F for about 45 minutes. Be sure to cover with foil during the initial 30-35 minutes to ensure they do not dry out. Uncover and top with cheese and bake for the remaining 10 minutes or so until brown and bubbly.

What to serve with Stuffed Peppers?

One serving of Stuffed Peppers being served from a baking dish

Can you freeze Stuffed Peppers?

Yes, you definitely can freeze Stuffed Peppers and they are a great make-ahead meal! You will need to bake them first, then you can either freeze them individually or together in a baking dish. To re-heat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through.

Keep this Stuffed Peppers recipe close at hand for a quick, easy and fun way to serve dinner! Prepped and ready in under 1 hour, this recipe is great for your busy schedule!

4.96 from 23 votes
Review Recipe

Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty beef and rice filling with tomato sauce are baked until bubbly.


  • 6 bell peppers
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can small diced tomatoes 14 1/2 oz
  • 1/2 cup white rice uncooked
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce divided
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded

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  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut the tops off the peppers (reserve the tops), remove seeds and membranes and discard. Chop tops of the peppers to add to the filling.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook peppers 5 minutes. Remove and drain well.

  4. In a large skillet, brown beef, sausage, onion & garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. 

  5. Stir in the diced tomatoes with juice, rice, 1 1/4 cup water, diced pepper tops, Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning.

  6. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. You can add more water if needed.

  7. Place 1 1/2 cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill each pepper with the rice mixture. Spoon remaining 1 cup marinara sauce over peppers.

  8. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes. Remove foil, baste peppers with any sauce in the bottom. Top with cheddar and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender.

Recipe Notes

If you firmer/tender-crisp peppers, skip the boiling step and bake as directed.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 385, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 922mg, Potassium: 933mg, Carbohydrates: 29g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 11g, Protein: 18g, Vitamin A: 85.1%, Vitamin C: 202.2%, Calcium: 13.7%, Iron: 20.5%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword bell peppers, easy, stuffed peppers, with rice

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Stuffed Peppers in a baking dish with melted cheese on top


If you are looking for a quick and complete meal in one tidy package, then Stuffed Peppers are it! Using the pepper itself as the serving vessel, Stuffed Peppers are a fun and unique way to serve dinner to your family! #spendwithpennies #easyrecipe #stuffedpeppers #withsausage #withbeef #simpledinner

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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    1. After you pin them to Pinterest, if you go to your pinterest board and click on the image, it should bring you right back to this page.

  1. I made your cabbage soup and it turned out delicious and thick so I have so much left over I am going to do the peppers with the recipe you have here except mine will have the cabbage mixture in it, I put a photo of the soup on my Insta and tagged you in on it as I adore your stuffed cabbage rolls also , love your recipes Holly

  2. I’m an Irish girl who married an Italian, and I never thought I’d ever be able to make a dish that was better than my mother-in-laws.

    Well, this dish helped me do just that! My husband said this blew my mother-in-law’s version out of the water! I stuffed the peppers with garlic and herb cauliflower rice and served them with a side of Spanish rice.

    My goodness. Delicious!

  3. This recipe looks delicious! We are trying to reduce the amount of meat we eat. Do you think this recipe will be as good if I use 1/2 pound of ground beef and one can of black beans (in lieu of sausage)? Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Erica, We have only made this recipe as listed but if you give it a try let us know how it turns out!

  4. I put an egg In mine and top them with partially cooked bacon; then Italian grated cheese mix.
    Oh, yeah. I’ve always precooked the rice. Does this really work? I may try it on 1/2 recipe some time.

    1. While I have only made this recipe as written, I think that you could make that substitution with good results.

  5. I made this tonight and my husband said this was his favorite recipe! I have to agree it is a winner and I will make it our go-to. Only thing I added was a little more garlic, doubled the Italian seasoning, and added some cheese to mixture before stuffing. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  6. I tried this recipe tonight for the first time. First, I have to say that the step to boil the peppers first was a game changer for me. I feel like my peppers cooked more evenly. Definitely do not skip that step. I increased garlic cloves to 4, because we really like our garlic. I also tossed the diced up peppers in with the meat, onion and garlic, while browning. Finally, I added the marinara to the stuffing mixture as it was simmering, rather than placing it on top of the stuffed pepper. I prefer more of a tomato presence in my pepper stuffing and adding the marinara to the stuffing did not affect the way the rice cooked or the consistency of the stuffing, in my opinion. It made the stuffing very flavorful. Overall, a fantastic and satisfying stuffed peppers recipe. I will definitely be using this one again!

  7. Very good! We loved it! I’ll be making these again for sure. I followed the recipe pretty close but I made extra because I had 2 lbs. of meat. Perfectly seasoned!

  8. This recipe is great and very easy to prepare. I did modify it somewhat though. For one thing I used home ground and processed pork sausage only (my wife is allergic to beef). I also added a little fresh ground black pepper and about a half cup of white wine. To quote my wife, ‘this can show up again’.

  9. Loved this recipe my kids weren’t a fan, but they are toddlers so who knows if they really didn’t like it or not. My husband however raves about it all night!

  10. I’ve made these before, amazing btw I halved it because it’s just my bf and I buuuut due to popular demand I’m going full throttle here. Is it it ok to premake the stuffing so I can just make it easy to throw together or is it better if the stuffing is hot?

    1. Making the stuffing ahead will be just fine, it may need a few minutes of extra cook time if the filling is chilly. So glad you both love them! :)

    2. I make this in a huge batch and freeze the portion sizes in freezer bags, then when I want to make it I only need to buy the peppers. saves room in freezer also

  11. What is the purpose of putting the sauce in the pan before it’s being baked? Wouldn’t it burn to the pan, making it hard to scrub off?

  12. My husband loves them! It is a really good recipe. I added a TBS of Tomato paste to the mix because I like a deep rich tomato flavor but the recipe is outstanding as is. I missed/don’t see where it said to add the marina sauce into to the meat mixture prior to stuffing which i caught when I saw the video. My peppers were about to go into the oven so I just stirred in the amount I had poured on top and when mixed added more to the top. They are wonderful. The melted cheese on top…..yummmmmm.

    1. Hi Kathy, so glad you loved them! Tomato paste would definitely be a delicious addition. Diced tomatoes are added to the meat mixture, marinara sauce is spooned overtop and in the bottom of the baking dish.

      1. I have the same question, in the video it shows mixing marinara sauce into the meat mixture, but doesn’t say it anywhere in the recipe itself. Either way, my wife and I loved it, our 2 year old even loved it. Can’t wait to make it again, I think I might even try it with ground chicken and turkey next time.

        1. Pete, I’m so glad to hear that your family loves these stuffed peppers! Great idea to try them with ground chicken or turkey! In step 7, we use the marinara on the bottom of the pan, then top the peppers with the remaining marinara. Hope that helps.

  13. This is the first time in 52 years of marriage that I made stuffed peppers. These were absolutely fantastic!! I will definitely be making them again in the near future!!

  14. I was just wondering if you can use wheat rice? I know I would have to cook the wheat rice first . They say wheat rice is a little chewy. So I well cook It longer than white rice.

  15. This was sooo good. The filling it self could be a main dish. Next I’ll probably use less of the diced tomato cause i don’t really like tomatoes. This was PERFECT!!!!!!

    1. I use an electric frying pan to cook the filling. I also use ground venison and stews tomatoes. Then I spoon the mixture into the peppers and set them on top of the filling left in the pan and set on simmer until the peppers are cooked. This is good for those who don’t like the peppers but gives the filling a good flavor. Also I like the crunchy pieces of mixture in the frying pan. Yummy!

  16. Made this last night. They were delicious! Added additional oregano and Italian spice. Topped with mozarella cheese. 

  17. If you cook these in a slow cooker there is no need to blanch the peppers, they come out nice and soft.  I would put some water in the bottom rather than the sauce.  6 hours on low.

  18. My family loves these. We even like them for a Christmas Eve supper (red and green, lol) . Sometimes the peppers are just too big and overwhelming so we stsryedcmaking stuffed pepper “rings” making three or more rings from each and having lots of extra stuffing. Love your recipe.

  19. This recipe sounds amazing! Question though, if using cauliflower rice, do you need to pre-cook the cauliflower rice or simply follow the same directions? Thanks!

  20. I’m in the 35 minutes now.. The stuffing was great tasting.. Can’t wait for cheese topping and to be able to cut in that bell… Thank you , Very easy to follow!

  21. Hi! Just came across this recipe and can’t wait to try it (after heatwave is over)! Just one question, is rice a long grain rice or an instant rice?